Your Daily Jolt: Chambliss, Isakson back cliff mini-deal

That crazy New Year’s party in the Senate featuring Vice President Joe Biden netted a “fiscal cliff” deal passed after 2 a.m. The AP’s Andrew Taylor called it “drama unlike any other in the annals of Congress.” Here’s the deal:

It would prevent middle-class taxes from going up but would raise rates on higher incomes. It would also block spending cuts for two months, extend unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless, prevent a 27 percent cut in fees for doctors who treat Medicare patients and prevent a spike in milk prices.

The measure ensures that lawmakers will have to revisit difficult budget questions in just a few weeks, as relief from painful spending cuts expires and the government requires an increase in its borrowing cap.

House Speaker John Boehner pointedly refrained from endorsing the agreement, though he’s promised a vote on it or a GOP alternative right away. But he was expected to encounter opposition from House conservatives.

The Washington Post has a good breakdown of all the specifics here. Basically, the tax stuff is taken care of permanently and the spending cuts are put off for two months — and therefore will nicely coincide with the debt ceiling and another giant budget fight. If you find yourself saying “Ned Ryerson!” today, it’s because we are all living the film “Groundhog Day.”

The wee hours Senate vote was an overwhelming 89-8 and included both of Georgia’s senators, Republicans Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss in the “yea” column. Chambliss — who readers of this space surely know is up for re-election in 2014 — said the following:

The Senate voted on a deal to avoid the worst of the fiscal cliff by compromising on tax provisions and delaying implementation of the sequester. This deal is far from what this country needs, but I cannot in good conscience allow taxes to be raised on all Americans and send our economy into turmoil.

While I am pleased that most Americans have been saved from an increase in taxes, I won’t be satisfied that the Senate has finished its work on the fiscal cliff until significant spending cuts on discretionary and entitlement spending have occurred.The president failed to negotiate a deal to reduce our debt, but I, like other Senate Republicans, look forward to the very real opportunity to negotiate substantial, meaningful spending cuts in the coming weeks.

Here’s Isakson’s statement:

This 11th-hour negotiation is no way to run a country, but I voted for this agreement because it protects 99 percent of Americans from a tax increase, permanently protects tens of thousands of farmers and family businesses from having to pay the estate tax upon the death of a loved one, and permanently fixes the alternative minimum tax to protect some 30 million households a year from having to pay it. I am also pleased that this agreement reinstates the pay freeze for members of Congress. Now, it is time for the president to get serious about spending cuts and entitlement reforms, and I look forward to enacting significant measures in the coming weeks that will reduce our debt.

Among Republicans who voted against the measure were two U.S. senators considered likely prospects for a 2016 presidential run. One was Rand Paul of Kentucky. The other was Marco Rubio of Florida – who rejected the belief expressed by Isakson and Chambliss, that increased federal revenue is essential to reducing a $16 trillion-plus deficit:

I appreciate all the hard word that went into avoiding the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’. I especially commend Senator McConnell’s efforts to make the best out of a bad situation. Nevertheless, I cannot support the arrangement they have arrived at. Rapid economic growth and spending reforms are the only way out of the real fiscal cliff our nation is facing. But rapid economic growth and job creation will be made more difficult under the deal reached here in Washington.

Thousands of small businesses, not just the wealthy, will now be forced to decide how they’ll pay this new tax and, chances are, they’ll do it by firing employees, cutting back their hours and benefits, or postponing the new hire they were looking to make. And to make matters worse, it does nothing to bring our dangerous debt under control.

Of course, many Americans will be relieved in the short term that their taxes won’t go up. However in the long run, they will be hurt when employers pass on to them one of the largest tax hikes in decades. Furthermore, this deal just postpones the inevitable, the need to solve our growing debt crisis and help the 23 million Americans who can’t find the work they need.

***

What about the milk cliff? They got you covered. Politico’s David Rogers has more:

The giant New Year’s tax package rushed through the Senate Tuesday morning includes a nine-month farm bill extension that forestalls any immediate spike in milk prices but also represents a bitter blow for farmers who had hoped for long-sought changes in the dairy support program. …

The upshot is a victory for Southern agricultural interests with the greatest stake in a costly system of direct cash payments to often already profitable producers. In the dairy arena, giant processors like Dean Foods Co. come out ahead while the outcome is a major blow for the National Milk Producers Federation, which watched with disbelief from the sidelines on New Year’s Eve.

***

They even threw in a measure to block their own payraise. Man, Congress can be so productive in the middle of the night. I wrote in today’s AJC how Augusta Democratic U.S. Rep. John Barrow is trying to fight said $900 pay bump: “Little things mean a lot and Congress has no business getting a bonus in times like this,” Barrow said.

***

That landslide Senate vote provides a lot of cover for the House, but word is Biden will return to the Hill today to talk to House Democrats. It’s unclear when the House would stage a vote on the Senate bill, Reuters reports. Majority Leader Eric Cantor told reporters this morning: “We have not made a decision yet.”

***

Here’s the full obit of Lillian Miles Lewis — Rep. John Lewis’ wife — by the AJC’s Michelle Shaw. A clue as to why John Lewis came to D.C. Sunday night:

Close friend Xernona Clayton said Lillian Lewis had been ill for an extended period of time but encouraged her husband to continue with his career.

“She’d kind of get on him about telling people she was sick,” Clayton said. “She didn’t want that to be the focus. She wanted him to do his work.”

There are still no funeral arrangements available, but we will post them here when they are.

- By Daniel Malloy, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

70 comments Add your comment

Rafe Hollister

January 1st, 2013
11:21 am

All revenue increases and no spending cuts. Johnny and Sax selling out their supporters once again.

jd

January 1st, 2013
11:26 am

If it were not for the growth in government jobs from 2001-2008, net job growth for the Bush years would have been negative (and it was for private sector jobs). So much for the theory that tax cuts generate economic growth which generates jobs.

liberalefty

January 1st, 2013
11:40 am

why didnt the BUSH TAX CUTS create any jobs?

Just Wait

January 1st, 2013
11:53 am

It is so sad that the Republicans are so in the pocket of the wealthy that they are willing to throw the middle class under the bus and damn the consequences. This is especially true of the “front runners” for the 2016 election. Let’s hope the next 4 years will quite some of the extremism on both sides.

td

January 1st, 2013
12:08 pm

iberalefty

January 1st, 2013
11:40 am

why didnt the BUSH TAX CUTS create any jobs?

Can you prove that they did not? Bush tax cuts went into effect in 2002 and in 2007 every American that wanted to work was working and we were importing workers. Can you tell me that was not from the Bush tax cuts? Can you tell us what the unemployment rate would be today if not for the Bush tax cuts? 12%, 15%? Even your glorious leader said in 2010 (when he extended the tax cuts for 2 more years) that raising taxes in a recession would cause more unemployment.

Let us wait for a few months and see if unemployment rises or goes down now that they have raised taxes on small businesses. I know I am going to have to do some calculating once I see the real effects of this bill and see if I can still afford the number of people I currently have or will have to layoff a worker or two.

vomitt

January 1st, 2013
12:09 pm

no deal will be the best news ever for anyone who loves America.

I am always amused by Christians who are afraid of death. You should always be be excited to go to “heaven.” :)

td

January 1st, 2013
12:10 pm

Just Wait

January 1st, 2013
11:53 am

It is so sad that the Democrats are willing to put us back in a recession so that they can feel good about about soaking those evil rich.

Just Nasty & Mean

January 1st, 2013
12:10 pm

Voting for this without spending cuts? Are you kidding me???? Johnny and Saxby, are you so shallow to understand you have just given up all the leverage you had to get this out-of-control spendthrift in the White House to control spending?

Sorry gents. Time for BOTH of you to go. You have sold out your state, party and worse—your principles.

Go home to your golden parachute, fat-cat retirement and Cadillac benefit package and GET OUT OF OUR (the people’s) HOUSE.

Rabbit

January 1st, 2013
12:15 pm

House Republicans and mindless hoard that follows… Stay tuned.

td

January 1st, 2013
12:15 pm

And what did this tax increase really accomplish besides making Democrats feel better because they got to soak the rich more? Let me re post some figures. Take a close look at the last line and this is what the tax increase adds to the family budget:

US national revenue: 2,170,000,000,000
Federal Budget: 3,820,000,000,000
New Debt: 1,650,000,000,000
National debt: 14,271,000,000,000
Recent budget cuts: 35,500,000,000

Now let us remove 8 zeros and pretend it is a household budget:

Annual family income: $21,700
Money family spent: $38,200
New debt on the credit card: $16,500
Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
Total household budget cuts so far: $38.50
New revenue coming in this next year (Obama proposed tax increase): $80.00

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 1st, 2013
12:16 pm

Now, it is time for the president to get serious about spending cuts and entitlement reforms, and I look forward to enacting significant measures in the coming weeks that will reduce our debt.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

OMG, that’s so funny!!!

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 1st, 2013
12:16 pm

JOHN F KENNEDY: This administration pledged itself last summer to an across-the-board, top-to-bottom cut in personal and corporate income taxes to be enacted and become effective in 1963. I am not talking about a quickie or a temporary tax cut which would be more appropriate if a recession were imminent. Nor am I talking about giving the economy a mere shot in the arm to ease some temporary complaint. The federal government’s most useful role is not to rush into a program of excessive increases in public expenditures, but to expand the incentives and opportunities of private expenditures.

Rabbit

January 1st, 2013
12:19 pm

As one of the few here that will engage you with civility, Mr. td, I’m curious about the foundations of your theory that the Democrats will “put us back into a recession” as a response to significant economic thought that reducing the deficit too fast will be a bigger danger than the deficit itself.

Real Athens

January 1st, 2013
12:22 pm

td:

You’ve been posting your graph for days now. Give it a rest. I hope you’re getting paid to reprint advertising for a Glenn Beck show sponsor.

http://visual.ly/us-federal-budget-household-budget

Sparta_Bubba

January 1st, 2013
12:23 pm

None of these issues will be resolved until after the 2014 elections. Most of the Republican representatives who are not in gerrymandered districts will probably be defeated. The Tea Party Nuts in gerrymandered districts will be safe until after the next census, but hopefully their quantities will be small enough to stop gumming up the works. At that time some small sense of sanity will begin to flowback into congress. There will be still be issues and nuts, but not nearly as many as there are today.

Sparta_Bubba

January 1st, 2013
12:25 pm

Does anyone know if “td” stand for “Totally Dumb?”

Voter

January 1st, 2013
12:27 pm

@Sparta_Bubba – Great, more name calling. He’s welcome to his opinion like you or did hussein obama outlaw opinions?

Voter

January 1st, 2013
12:28 pm

Vote Isakson and Chambliss out next election.

Real Athens

January 1st, 2013
12:29 pm

Household budgets and a nation’s budgets aren’t in the same ballpark, hell, they’re not even the same game. The same goes with the tired old adage that “government should be run like a business”

“One of the most important concepts to be taught in economics is the notion of the fallacy of composition: what might be true for individuals is probably not true for society as a whole. The most common example is the paradox of thrift: while an individual can save more by reducing spending (on consumption), society can save more only by spending more (for example, on investment).”

http://www.cfeps.org/pubs/pn/pn0601.htm

td

January 1st, 2013
12:30 pm

Real Athens

January 1st, 2013
12:22 pm

td:

You’ve been posting your graph for days now. Give it a rest. I hope you’re getting paid to reprint advertising for a Glenn Beck show sponsor.

They need to pay me for coming up with the numbers (not totally true). I heard an economist on C-span comparing our current budget with a family budget so then I did a little research and came up with my own calculations.

BTW: This is very relevant to educating the uninformed about what is really happening and I think I will re post this (with the correct modifications) every time there is a blog on the subject.

Voter

January 1st, 2013
12:30 pm

@td – Good points. Also everyone should be writing their Senators and Reps. All online available, takes less than 5 minutes.

td

January 1st, 2013
12:32 pm

Real Athens

January 1st, 2013
12:29 pm

And how many economist makes these comparisons all the time to put things in prospective?

Oxwinkle

January 1st, 2013
12:33 pm

Chambliss will lose to a primary challenger in 2014 and Isakson isn’t running for re-election in 2016.

Dusty

January 1st, 2013
12:38 pm

Rabbit,

Surely you jest!!

“Reducing the deficit too fast will be a bigger danger than the deficit itself”"!!!

Why don’t we try it anyway? As far as I know, very few have ever tried to REDUCE the deficit. It has always been raised.and Obama has gotten the deficit HIGHER than it has ever been. The Dem led Senate has helped him. Now he wants the debt ceiling raised so he can spend even more. Why? Why? Why?

Cherokee

January 1st, 2013
12:40 pm

I will re post this (with the correct modifications) every time there is a blog on the subject.

And those of us with working brain cells will continue to ignore you.

Real Athens

January 1st, 2013
12:42 pm

“They need to pay me for coming up with the numbers (not totally true). I heard an economist on C-span comparing our current budget with a family budget so then I did a little research and came up with my own calculations.”

Really?

http://www.thegoldstandardnow.org/special-reports/1807-us-federal-budget-as-a-household-budget-infographic

Cherokee

January 1st, 2013
12:42 pm

Dusty, the Congress voted to spend more, not Obama. Why vote to spend more, then refuse to authorize the necessary borrowing? Perhaps to snow your gullible followers?

Say it ain’t so….

td

January 1st, 2013
12:43 pm

Most states have had to reduce its budgets during this recession and I have not heard of these states going down in flames. Matter of fact the states that did not do layoffs by attrition or cuts in benefits are the ones that we currently here about are still in trouble. CA, IL, NY.

Douglas

January 1st, 2013
12:43 pm

@Sparta:
“The Tea Party Nuts in gerrymandered districts will be safe until after the next census, but hopefully their quantities will be small enough to stop gumming up the works. At that time some small sense of sanity will begin to flowback into congress. There will be still be issues and nuts, but not nearly as many as there are today.”
And to follow your logic to its end, maybe then the federal govt. can be like CA where the Democrats are in total control with no restraint on spending and taxes. Take a look at the state of CA’s fiscal / economic situation. It’s a result of the spend and tax insanity that you desire for the US. I don’t want that for our country but apparently many here do or are too ignorant to realize the results of their policy desires.

Cherokee

January 1st, 2013
12:43 pm

BTW thanks for the link, Athens – I wondered how he came up with that nonsense.

Real Athens

January 1st, 2013
12:44 pm

“And how many economist makes these comparisons all the time to put things in prospective?”

Functional illiteracy on display.

hiram

January 1st, 2013
12:48 pm

Rabbit
January 1st, 2013
12:19 pm

“As one of the few here that will engage you with civility, Mr. td, I’m curious about …”

Rabbit, Give up. Mr. td is actually an example of the process of natural selection in politics. He is a member of that ever shrinking mindless hoard, who’s incapable of deciphering information that’s not emotionally stimulating. Rush makes a fortune by keeping guys like td, agitated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It’s all or nothing, black and white, them against us.

Rushs’ age and health insures that he will not make it through many more election cycles, and the same applies to most of his mindless followers, the ditto heads – crazy old white guys, with chips on their shoulders, along with the least learned members of society(rednecks), who will lose interest without the stimulation that Rush supplies.

td

January 1st, 2013
12:48 pm

Real Athens

January 1st, 2013
12:42 pm

There numbers are different from mine (might I add not off by a great deal) but the concept is correct.

Your questions made me do a little research and after looking at only a few pages of google search one thing is clear. Why is it that only leftest groups are bashing this prospective? Could it be because this prospective really allows the average person to have a basic understanding of the trouble we are really in as a nation?

td

January 1st, 2013
12:51 pm

Cherokee

January 1st, 2013
12:43 pm

BTW thanks for the link, Athens – I wondered how he came up with that nonsense.

If you actually had a little reading comprehension skills then you would know that the idea for the comparison came from an economist on C-Span.

Weetamoe

January 1st, 2013
12:54 pm

I assume they do not plan to run again. Anyone who gave in to the demands of that posturing, mendacious bully in the White House reveals that he is unfit to hold office in the senate or the house.

td

January 1st, 2013
12:55 pm

If you do not like the comparison of the Federal Budget to the family budget then here is one for the sports minded and analogy between Golf score and the Federal budget.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifxu8I5ncXY

No Longer Republican

January 1st, 2013
12:57 pm

Thank you Saxby and Johnny! I think the fact that it passed 89-8 shows that in real serious times the Senate can work together to get something accomplished. It remains to be see if the House can do the same. For those of you who don’t like it, guess what…nobody got what they wanted…it is called compromise and that is how our government works. We haven’t had that going in a while because of the stupid tea party morons and I’m concerned it won’t happen today with the nuts in the House. But it is the only way to move this divided country forward.

td

January 1st, 2013
1:00 pm

How about the comparison from Dave Ramsey endorsed by a leading economist Rand Paul.

http://paul.senate.gov/?p=news&id=143

td

January 1st, 2013
1:01 pm

No Longer Republican

January 1st, 2013
12:57 pm

Thank you Saxby and Johnny! I think the fact that it passed 89-8 shows that in real serious times the Senate can work together to get something accomplished.

Really. What did this bill do besides make you FEEL good?

hiram

January 1st, 2013
1:03 pm

Does anyone with a normal level of intelligence actually click on any of td’s links? If so, why?

td

January 1st, 2013
1:06 pm

Since you do not like the family comparison then here lets see if you will read an academic study by some of the leading economist in the nation.

http://www.heritage.org/federalbudget/pdf/all-budget-chart-book-2012.pdf

hiram

January 1st, 2013
1:17 pm

If td isn’t on the AJC’s payroll, he ought to be. His posts, and other people’s responses to them, accounts for 3/4s of the traffic on Galloway’s blog. What I don’t understand is why anyone takes him serious enough to engage him in an argument.

Buckhead Boy

January 1st, 2013
1:17 pm

Douglas, you ought to take a look at the California fiscal/economic situation again since most of the Republican miscreants were driven out of office. A recent NY Times article concluded, ” There is evidence of job growth, economic stability, a resurgent housing market and rising spirits in a state that was among the worst hit by the recession.” And, a progressive Governor and Lieutenant Governor just convinced the voters of the need for reasonable taxation to salvage their government from the mess left by that laughable, housekeeper-hopping Republican once and future movie star.

td

January 1st, 2013
1:25 pm

Buckhead Boy

January 1st, 2013
1:17 pm

“And, a progressive Governor and Lieutenant Governor just convinced the voters of the need for reasonable taxation to salvage their government ”

Wow I can not believe you actually said this:

“Thanks to passage of Proposition 30 last month, high-income Californians would pay the nation’s highest marginal income tax rates — nearly 52 percent — if President Barack Obama and Congress fail to make a deal to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff,” according to a new study.

Thanks to passage of Proposition 30 last month, high-income Californians would pay the nation’s highest marginal income tax rates — nearly 52 percent — if President Barack Obama and Congress fail to make a deal to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff,” according to a new study.

Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/12/high-income-californians-may-pay-nations-highest-tax-rate.html#storylink=cpy

And you call this reasonable?

crankee-yankee

January 1st, 2013
1:41 pm

Buckhead Boy
January 1st, 2013
1:17 pm

“…housekeeper-hopping Republican…:

Too funny.

Too bad the mess he left Cali in isn’t.

Don't Tread

January 1st, 2013
1:43 pm

“the tax stuff is taken care of permanently and the spending cuts are put off for two months”

Just like last time…then the spending cuts get put off again…and again…and again…forever. (How did we get $16T in debt again? Oh….right.)

Perpetual welfare payments to people who can and should be working need to end, along with that ethanol subsidy and a couple dozen other things.

CC

January 1st, 2013
1:55 pm

Cherokee:

“And those of us with working brain cells will continue to ignore you.”

Obviously, you have no working brain cells . . .

hiram

January 1st, 2013
2:04 pm

td, the sock puppet, is now cc, and td – too obvious.

td

January 1st, 2013
2:18 pm

A few revisions to the numbers now:

US national revenue: 2,170,000,000,000
Federal Budget: 3,820,000,000,000
New Debt: 1,650,000,000,000
National debt: 14,271,000,000,000
Recent budget cuts: 35,500,000,000

Now let us remove 8 zeros and pretend it is a household budget:

Annual family income: $21,700
Money family spent: $38,200
New debt on the credit card: $16,500
Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
Total household budget cuts so far: $38.50 ( Now $14)
New revenue coming in this next year (Obama proposed tax increase): $80.00 (Now $61)

honested

January 1st, 2013
2:19 pm

Now, despite the strenuous efforts of the backward looking, wrong wing ideologues in the Congress, America will accelerate it’s elevation from the bush depression and return to economic prosperity.

To the republicans in Congress, especially the miscreant freshboys in the house, America can say ‘Thanks for Nothing’!